A nationwide emergency alert test will ping your phone on Wednesday. Here’s what to expect
There are 2 different portions of the nationwide emergency alert testing, including the Wireless Emergency Alerts and Emergency Alert System
This is your friendly reminder that the federal government will be conducting an emergency alert test on phones nationwide on Wednesday.
NPR reported that these emergency “test messages” will produce both a sound and a vibration on all cellphones, televisions and radios.
What is the test for on Oct. 4? “We want to ensure that the systems continue to be effective, that the public understands and uses these alerts and warnings about emergencies, particularly those on the national level, as we work to strengthen emergency readiness among our communities,” Orlando Olivera, the coordinator of FEMA’s Caribbean Area Office in Puerto Rico, said.
FEMA reported that the system gives authorities the ability to alert citizens via their cellphones, televisions and radios in the case of an emergency.
“This is one step to be ready for emergencies. We are encouraging everyone, especially older adults to ‘Take Control in 1, 2, 3: Assess your needs, Make a plan, and Engage your support network.’ Visit www.ready.gov and learn more about it,” Olivera said.
How long is the alert on Oct. 4? FEMA reported in a press release about the alert that the test is set to begin at 2:20 p.m. EDT, which means that in other time zones the test will begin at:
- 1:20 p.m. CDT.
- 12:20 p.m. MDT.
- 11:20 a.m. PDT.
There are two different portions of the nationwide emergency alert testing, including the Wireless Emergency Alerts and Emergency Alert System.
FEMA reported on the details of the nationwide emergency alert test that “cell towers will broadcast the signal for approximately 30 minutes. During this time, WEA-compatible wireless phones that are switched on, within range of an active cell tower, and whose wireless provider participates in WEA, should be capable of receiving the test message.”
The message should reportedly only be pinging phones once through the duration of the test.
What did Elizabeth Smart say about the Oct. 4 alert? In a social media post, Elizabeth Smart shared a written message saying that the alert system “might be a safety concern for survivors who are hiding a secret phone from their abusers.”
Smart’s post continued, “Some phones have settings to turn off from receiving these alerts. If unsure on how to disable it, put your phone on airplane mode or turn it completely off until the alert is done.”
Can you turn off the FEMA alert? FEMA reported that “if a phone is off before the test alert is sent and not turned back on until after the WEA Test expires (approximately 30 minutes), the phone should not get the test message.”